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Are you prepared for the PSTN switch-off?

OryxAlign, a London-based managed IT services provider, is urging UK businesses to prepare for the upcoming switch-off of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), which is transitioning to digital communication. Although the switch-off is due to be completed by the end of December 2025, it is being implemented gradually, affecting businesses at different times depending on their location. OryxAlign is providing a postcode checker to inform companies of their estimated switch-off date to help them prepare as soon as possible.

 

PSTN has been providing voice and data services through a network of copper telephone lines for over a century. However, this network now faces significant maintenance challenges, with parts like switches, relays, connectors and diagnostic equipment increasingly difficult to source. The transition from the PSTN to digital telecommunication systems, led by giants like BT and Virgin Media, is a response to this growing obsolescence of the existing analogue network.

 

Despite the much-needed upgrade, the switch-off poses challenges and potential disruptions for unprepared businesses. According to BT, in 2023, 46 per cent of businesses were still using traditional fixed-line services and 26 per cent were completely unaware of the upcoming change.

 

With this in mind, OryxAlign is advising businesses to check when the switch-off is happening in their area and take the steps to prepare ahead of time.

 

“If a company did nothing to prepare for the switch-off, its services like the phone system, internet and even lifts and alarms would stop working,” explained Nathan Charles, head of customer success at OryxAlign. “For most businesses, any kind of connectivity downtime can result in huge losses.”

 

“How long it takes to switch over depends on the company’s size and what systems it has,” continued Nathan. “We can initiate an emergency port for a telephone number for any companies that get caught out, and this will allow for basic telephone communication. But switching a whole system that has full functionality would take much more time.”

 

OryxAlign provides businesses with strategic planning and expert guidance as they navigate the PSTN switch-off, tailoring advice to each company’s unique operational needs and technological readiness. The managed IT provider not only aims to minimise disruptions but also ensures a strategic alignment with companies’ budget cycles for a seamless transition. Its approach includes hands-on technical assistance, effective project management and comprehensive staff training.

 

Transitioning to digital cloud hosted systems offers businesses benefits like remote working, clearer calls and advanced features.

 

IP telephony streamlines voice, video, and data communication over Internet Protocol networks, enhancing management and scalability while introducing cost-saving features. Among these, VoIP stands out by converting voice into digital signals for internet-based calls, improving flexibility. Additionally, new functionalities like anonymous caller rejection and three-way calling boost privacy and collaboration, ensuring a smoother, more efficient communication landscape.

 

You can find out when the switch-off is due to happen in your postcode by visiting https://www.oryxalign.com/pstn-switch-off.

Lisa Baker is Group Editor for the Need to See IT Publishing Group. Lisa writes about HR, Technology, Health, the Environment and Business.
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